Very First Post.. Be kind...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 24, 2007 8:30 AM GMT
    So here I am about to turn 42 (in a few weeks), and I finally decided I want to start taking care of myself.. I joined Gold's Gym and am on a path to quit smoking.. but my main issue is my weight.

    5'9" and just about a week ago I broke the 120lb barrier for the first time in my life.. so yeah I am thin, always have been.. I know little to nothing about training, I have done Tia Chi and Yoga in the past but no real physical training.

    1. Foods - I think I eat pretty healthy I just don't really have an appetite. I am one of those people who can forget to eat. I have been concentrating on try to eat at least 2 meals a day (don't laugh for the majority of my life I ate one)I have also been supplementing those with Ensure Drinks and Protein shakes I find at the store now and than.. No I am far from well off, hell I barely make ends meet.. so those expensive weight gainer drink mixes seem like they would be great but damn that a lot of money. Suggestions?

    2. I have read many of the posts about weight and genes, my dad was a bean pole (6'2" and may 160 if he was lucky) as was my grand on my mothers side.. I look at my wrists and they are pretty tiny.. so I know I wont be building much. My concern is mostly my core.. (I have fairly strong legs as I do alot of walking, swimming, hiking..) I would like to work on the back, abs and chest, not to mention the toothpicks I call arms.. again suggestions on routines for the beginner?

    3. Lastly, Motivation.. I know myself I will go all gong-ho for about a month or two, but without anyone there to help push me I will start becoming discourage and possibly lose interest.. and I really don't want to.. I am so thin that nobody at the Gym will even talk to me, or at least that is the impression I get.. (and no I am not flamboyant at all).. trust me it is hard enough to walk in there looking as I do and not feel like I wont to wither away in a corner.. I remember when I was in the service, tho I was still small I was pretty cut and defined, I would like to get back to that and may build on it..

    Anyway any assistance or advise would be welcome.. Oh and the Gym is Gold's Gym - Gilbert AZ, look for the tiny guy trying to hide his body in the corner. :-)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 24, 2007 9:11 AM GMT
    oh.. and here is a tid bit of info, that my give yo more in sight to my body..

    My nipples are tiny.. like penny size.. and I have no happy trial.. I remember as a teen I shave my stomach because people said it you shave it will grow faster.. they lied.

    I was born 3 weeks primmie but I don't really think that has a lot to do with it, as I know guys who were born a lot more earlier than I and have regular body hair and nipple size.

    Just some more info, I figure the more you know the better equipped you are to answer..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 25, 2007 6:13 AM GMT
    Chas,
    There's a thread called "New to the gym, please help". That would be a good one to which to refer.

    I have the complete opposite problem that you do. I have to consistently work out, and do extra-curricular sports stuff in order to maintain a reasonable weight. It's very difficult for me, but I always keep at it.

    The key for me is to not "cold start" it. In other words, I always break up the things that I do and start one, then a few days to a week start another one, and so on. That way, I form a habit on each step, and it's easier to maintain.

    Everyone has different nutritional needs in order to put on or take off weight.

    You might talk to your doctor about a reasonable weight gain diet. I will say this, though, you're going to have to eat more than you do. Six small meals per day is best, but you have to take in a total number of calories that will overcome your metabolism (or at least equal it).

    The other guys on here who have been doing this all their lives have a better grip on it than I do. Hopefully, some of the 78 viewers will "come out of the comment closet" and give you some advice.

    Good luck,
    Steve
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 25, 2007 9:05 AM GMT
    I think you need to see a doctor about your appetite. Not feeling hungry may be symptomatic of some deeper problem.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 25, 2007 9:06 AM GMT
    I think you need to see a doctor about your appetite. Not feeling hungry may be symptomatic of some deeper problem.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 25, 2007 9:33 AM GMT
    Steve: Thanks for the comments.. yeah I know what you mean about the six small meals a day.. I have been told that before, the unfortunate part is my body seems like it will not tolerate that, I have tried 4 smaller meals a days and it seemed to me that all I was doing was eating... and I felt very lethargic.. I think you are right, I just dont know how I will do it..


    Red: You think? trust me I have been to more doctors than I can shake a stick at, and I am healthy he did tell me once that my cholesterol was too low. (huh, got me but thats what he said).. I have been poked and prodded for about 20 years, I think I have had every gland in my body scrutinized. Even had my testosterone measured.. but I am apparently healthy excepting that I am under weight.

    For the rest of the no commenter's: Thanks.. I feel like I do at the gym... so much for attempting to put my self out there and ask for help. I will go back to my corner and leave you all alone now..
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jun 25, 2007 2:14 PM GMT
    Chas, some people may not comment because they feel they have nothing of value to offer. I'd rather say nothing that give bad advice, myself--as another guy who is steadfastly underweight despite years of lifting weights, I don't feel I'm in a position to be terribly helpful. It's entirely possible that a decent number of the comment viewers were simply waiting for advice which they could use themselves.

    Fundamentally, you might want to develop a somewhat thicker skin. A lack of response in an internet posting is not the same as people ignoring a question in person. And, if you do get ignored at the gym--isn't that more comfortable when you feel like you don't know what you're doing than having people stare at you? From my experience, most of the time if someone seems to be paying attention to me when I'm lifting, I get self-conscious and wonder what I'm doing that's so wrong that it attracts attention. I've even ended up making a bit of a fool of myself by asking the person who was staring what I'm doing wrong.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 25, 2007 2:56 PM GMT
    Hey Chas, MSUBioNerd is right - I wasn't posting because I don't have any particularly good advice to give. I'm skinny and I find it difficult to put on weight too. All I can say is, eat even if you aren't hungry.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jun 25, 2007 3:33 PM GMT
    Ok get outta the ccorner! I mean this in the nicest way. Just a question I have a friend who has ur similar build he was checked for everything under the sun, he finally went to a gastro DR. and he founf out he has Chrohn's disease, just google it to be on the safe side. I was always thin and it has been tough for me to gain, I was 5'4 115 120 fresh yr of high school. Now 5'11 174 30w. I was definitely a late bloomer. You may also want to google being an Ectomorph and read up on diet. If you r dedicated the more wou work out the more hungry you will become. It takes time DO NOT QUIT!! Get a personal trainer if possible if not ask everyone you can for help the ones that do great the ones that won't frigg em! Also do ab work daily it will help with your bodies motility and you will get yourself to a point where to eat 3 times a day, snack alot throughout and to put it bluntly take a good dump everyday. When I was thin I would forget to eat and go once or twice a week. Now I dump everyday like clockwork. Another health question did you Mom take thalidomide given in the late 50's 60's for morning sickness. This has been linked to Crohn's and to small male reporductive organs. Good luck Chas keep us posted and remember when lifting in the gym FORM is more important than the number of pounds u lift. www.dpsnutrition.com has the cheapest name brand products cheaper than stores including shipping. A protein weight gainer would be beneficial, make sure you r eating good foods not junk and alot of fiber. Be well peace- Mike
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jun 25, 2007 3:50 PM GMT
    Dude!

    Chill!

    Seriously, chill out.

    Be rational. Most of us who read this thread didn't have any valid advice. You think this is a site full of trained medical professionals qualified to comment on your situation? Most of us, myself included, are just normal guys who can only really comment on what we've directly experienced. And most of us, myself included, have the opposite problem. I'd eat 4000 calories a day if I could. Most of it would be calzone, ice cream, steak. But I can't do that, or I'd get fat and die of a heart attack within the year.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jun 25, 2007 6:48 PM GMT
    Alright, enough of us have criticized. My own success has been limited, but I did go from 6 foot and 135 pounds (at both high school and college graduation) to 6 foot and somewhere between 150 and 155 pounds in about a year of effort--and have held that weight for another year while actually trying to raise it higher, but there it is. So take what I say with a grain of salt, but to the extent it might be helpful:

    On the exercise side, you are primarily trying to build the fast twitch muscle fibers, as those are the ones which can grow the most. If you're skinny, you probably have a greater proportion of slow twitch muscle fibers--while they're both strong athletes, a marathoner and a gymnast will look very different from each other. You're looking for a low number of repetitions at a high weight, and you're looking at a lot less cardio work than someone trying to lose weight. What cardio work you do while trying to gain weight will be better spent doing interval training--a cycle of burts of ~30 seconds of as much energy as you can possibly give followed by ~90 seconds of slower recovery, repeatedly--than in a sustained run/bike/swim/whatever. There's a workout plan on this site for people like us, so do a search for "Skinny Gene" and you'll get to it.

    On the other side of the equation is what you eat and drink.

    1) Track what you eat for a week. Sites like www.fitday.com are pretty good for totalling up how many calories you consume. I'm not sure I buy their calories burned counts, but a lot of skinny people actually underestimate how much they're eating. Get a measuring cup and keep track.

    2) If you want to gain weight, you'll need to eat more. You'll also need to lift weights, which itself will burn more calories, so you need to eat even more than that burns. I sympathize with the idea that you feel like you're eating all the time. What you need are things that take virtually no effort to consume, so it's not a big process. To that end, there are some simple things you can do that are basically the reverse of what people who are dieting to lose weight are told. For example:

    I dehydrate easily, so I used to guzzle a lot of water. These days, I guzzle apple juice, occasionally throwing in either a dehydrated sports drink powder (Gatorade or the like), or some protein powder. Water can make you feel full; juice doesn't really make you feel significantly more full, but it does add some calories and vitamins as well. I also make shakes with yogurt and soymilk (I'm partially lactose intolerant, so I can't handle normal milk unless it's been cooked)--and if you grab the non-diet yogurt that has fruit in it, you'll get a good amount of flavoring and some milkfat to balance out the carbohydrates.

    Try eating a little faster. It takes a certain length of time for your brain to register how much you've eaten and give you the sensation that you're full. Slowing down your eating means you stop closer to the point of being full, and don't go as far past it. Speeding up will reverse that.

    Nutrient dense snack foods are good. Make your own trail mix with seeds, nuts, dried fruit, and if you want something a bit more processed for flavor throw in a little chocolate or some goldfish crackers or granola or something like that. Keep a ziplock bag of this at your desk, and take a handful or two every so often between meals. You want something that's a good nutrient balance, takes no effort to eat, and is relatively dense--a raisin has virtually identical nutritional value as a normal grape, but without the water it's easier to eat it when you're close to full. It's better to rely more on the nuts and dried fruit than on the chocolate or whatnot, as you want to add healthy calories, not just force feed yourself a tub of lard. Just don't overdo it on the dried fruit, or you'll run into the GI problems--there's a reason why people use prunes as a laxative, after all.

    Lean meat is a great source of protein--and you can't forget about the protein when you're trying to build muscle. Meat also takes effort to cook, and those meats which are easiest to cook are generally not especially lean (think of things like standard hotdogs). Canned tuna or salmon can be turned into sandwich material or a toast spread in a minute or two--hailing from Suburbia, I mix mine with Miracle Whip. You can bone and skin a whole package of chicken at once, grill or bake it, and refrigerate the rest for 4-5 days so that all you need to do is reheat it when you want it. You can also get some higher protein versions of non-meat products you're already eating--Barilla Plus is a high-protein version of pasta that costs me something like 20 cents more per box, and tastes very much the same as normal pasta.

    Mix in some of these denser foodstuffs into what you're already eating. Eat your toast with peanut butter/almond butter/etc rather than butter/margarine/jelly. Brown some lean ground beef, d
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jun 25, 2007 6:49 PM GMT
    Cut off from above:

    Mix in some of these denser foodstuffs into what you're already eating. Eat your toast with peanut butter/almond butter/etc rather than butter/margarine/jelly. Brown some lean ground beef, drain the fat off it, and mix it in with your pasta or rice. Turkey hotdogs and turkey bacon can be added easily to beans or potatoes to add some flavor and additional protein (turkey dogs and bacon are typically leaner than the beef varieties, but still as easy to cook). Mix some milk into your scrambled eggs (they'll come out more yellow and less orange that way too). If you're making a salad, throw in some sliced hard boiled eggs, and make sure you have plenty of carrots and whatnot to balance out the lettuce, and don't skimp on the cheese and crutons.

    Hope that's of some use.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 25, 2007 11:50 PM GMT
    Mike: I ad once seen a Dr regarding Crohns but thankfully that was not the case. And I will keep you posted..

    MSU: Wow you're the man... thanks I will take a lot of what you said and use it (printing it as I type this) I think after so many years of a dietary habit my body just needs to relearn a few things.. I will also look at the site you mentioned for calorie counting, to be honest I could not begin to tell you what my calorie intake is at present.. I am clueless when it comes to that stuff. As for the personal trainer, yeah that would be good but unfortunately not something my pocket can handle at the moment.. I did see one about 2 years ago when I wanted to do this.. but in our first session he wrote me a list of supplements that must of had about 12 things on it, including testosterone supplement and well I took that list to a health store and had them price everything on the list, and from what I remember it came out to be about 700 a month in supplements.. I dont even pay that in rent.. needless to say I never went back to him...

    And the rest:
    Look I did not mean to sound harsh or whatever, and no I don't think you are all experts in the field.. I guess I was hoping for a little encouragement if not just advice. As many of you know in our community especially in metro areas. if you don't have the right look people will just ignore you, and it gets to be a little frustrating. I realize that is a general blanket statement, which I normally don't make.. but in this case with our community it more often than not holds true. I am a good guy, fun, active and somewhat intelligent.. but people never get the chance to see that if the ignore me or simply brush me off when I try to associate with them.. so yeah if I seemed a bit harsh, well maybe you can see why..

    My goal on this site was to meet people I had things in common with and pursue common goals, not to hook up or find a man or whatever.. but alas this site is much like any other in that people will judge simply off the picture (or for some the lack there of) and decide if that person is worthy of communication. Or that is at least how it seems thus far, I hope to be proved wrong.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 26, 2007 1:50 AM GMT
    Hello,

    I am a certified personal trainer and it would be rather hairy from a legal perspective for me to give advice to someone here. If you feel uncomfortable seeking out others in the gym, that's ok. There's often a lot of unfounded imformation to be found anyway. And, a big thing, is that what works for someone my not work for you and could be potentially harmful.
    My suggestion is to speak with some of the professionals at the gym. Whether a personal trainer, group exercise instructor or other gym staff. They are there to help you. I'm not suggesting you purchase training sessions as you did mention that money is a limiting factor and it can be fairly expensive. If you find a good trainer/fitness professional, they will be sympathetic to your request and can help send you in the right direction. You might also join a group class that emphasizes muscle building (check the schedule for classes like Muscle Max class, etc.). These classes are free, and the instructor may also be able to provide you with good advice. It's also a great place to meet new people, make friends, etc.
    A nutritionist (make sure they have appropriate certifcations/degrees) is also a good option. Oftentimes you can get amazing guidance by only purchasing 1 or 2 sessions. They have a wealth of knowledge and have most likely worked with others in a similar situation.
    Hope this helps.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 26, 2007 2:18 AM GMT
    I agree with SDtrainer. You need to be careful who you accept advice from. Make sure it's someone who is trustworthy! The only thing I can offer is to be careful about what kind of weight you're gaining. You want to gain muscle. Right? I have always been thin and will continue to be before I allow myself to simply put on fat. You definitely need to be taking in more calories than you lose (metabolism, activity level, etc.) but lifting and stretching are essential to assure that the weight you're gaining is muscle and not just adipose tissue. The last thing you want is to clog your arteries with cholesterol and fat just so you can put on a few pounds. Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 26, 2007 3:15 AM GMT
    ChasAZ,

    You need to quit smoking before you worry about your weight.

    Seriously, your priorities are messed up.
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jun 26, 2007 3:32 AM GMT
    He says he's "on a path" to quitting smoking, and I'd say that's healthy. Or anyway it worked for me. I smoked for 5 years before I started my yoga practice, climbing, and biking more rigorously. I think they go hand-in-hand: it's hard to quit smoking without immediate negative repercussions, and exercising is the only thing I found that made it stick. When I realized I didn't get winded biking 5 miles anymore, it helped me leave cigarettes behind permanently.

    I didn't mean to chastise too much, Chas, btw. I meant to be a bit light-hearted. Take it easy; guys on here are nice, we're not all just looking for hookups, and are glad to chat. It's just sometimes someone asking for very direct advice about what he "should do" is kind of intimidating -- at least, to me -- because shit, I don't want to give someone advice that hurts them, and I'm not really professionally trained in anything like that anyway. All I can do is tell you what worked for me... and I've never had that problem, like I said.

    That said, hey, if all the doctors you've gone to have said you're otherwise fine, maybe having the discipline to eat more than your body drives you to is your challenge, like mine is having the discipline to eat less than my body drives me to. :)
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Jun 26, 2007 3:34 AM GMT
    Oh, and Johnny, furthermore, another reason it's a good idea to quit smoking and start exercising simultaneously: smoking cigarettes is an appetite suppressant, and many people therefore gain weight when they quit smoking, so having an exercise plan to go hand-in-hand helps.

    Which, uh, actually makes me think: Chas, maybe your low appetite is partly due to the smoking. I know mine was. Cigarettes and Diet Coke, they always say, that's the supermodel diet (well, plus just plain old coke, I suppose.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 26, 2007 6:05 AM GMT
    Its unlikely to be anything medical other than your body isnt used to the volumes of food simple as that.

    Its persistant the stomach is like any other body part its fit for purpose. So if you dont eat much then it will shrink to the size required.

    So simply dont expect to jump the calories up by 1000 overnight get a strategy try increasing your calories for the first week by 200 thats roughly 2 apples a day. Im sure that wont kill you.

    Its no different to people who are overweight and go on a diet they are hungry all the time as their stomachs are not full.

    Im not saying put up and shut up but get to know your body and gradually increase it to handle the demands.

    And now this is where some will scream, going for calorie value not size of the meal. Sugar is not an enemey if used in this manner. Yeh some will start screaming insulin spikes but its effects are irrelevant if you are not getting much needed calories for bulk. Other calorie dense healthier foods such as nuts are a great one to add maximum calories with minimal bulk.

    Start looking at a tool like fitday.com to see what you like.

    Nothing is impossible you just need to get wise about it
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 26, 2007 1:29 PM GMT
    guys.... excellent topic replies. Chas, I was going to mention the smoking thing, but someone beat me to it. I think atxclimber is spot on... concentrate your efforts to firstly quit the cigs, then your appetite will increase for sure, and you'll have the extra money you'll need for some protein supplements too.
    I have a lot of trouble with eating the right amounts due to not feeling hungry, however, after starting weight training (slow increases) about 5 weeks ago, my appetite has improved and i've just measured in at over 70kg (sorry guys, i'm an aussie!) which is a gain of over 2.5kg and i'm truly stoked at the result! i've found i'm eating healthy and will have a protein shake after brekky, some snacks between meals (even if it's just a banana or a couple of handfulls of nut mixes) and always have a protein shake after the gym to aid recovery. the protein supplement isn't cheap, but it's worth every cent, especially if i'm in a hurry and need to just get something into my stomach. this site is great, I hope u get some inspiration from all the guys here... Dan.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 26, 2007 2:50 PM GMT
    MSU- i've just used the tables on fitday.com and found i'm consuming 2000 cals per day and burning 3100! I've set up a model to consume close to 4000 cals- realisticaly. this is a great tool, something i've always thought was too hard to do on paper, now the web takes care of all the calculations. Chas- do yourself a favour and check it out.... it's very user friendly too.